Tuesday, December 06, 2005

$20 Million Out Of Thin Air

Well, the details on the mystery concession which suddenly inspired MLB to "donate" $20 million are in. As I suspected, it ain't money for nothing. (Start about 2/3 down from here)

The city has agreed to give baseball one-third of parking revenue generated by a new stadium on non-game days, city officials said yesterday.

Over the course of the stadium's life, expected to be 30 to 40 years, baseball would get back its $20 million, according to sources familiar with the lease negotiations.
Well, Duh! MLB isn't a charity. The Mayor's office tries to spin it, though.
Mayoral spokesman Morris characterized the deal as a victory for the District.

"Instead of letting Major League Baseball keep all the money from its parking lot, we've cut a deal where we keep two-thirds" of all parking revenue on non-game days, Morris said. "Even better, Major League Baseball is still going to give us the $20 million upfront."

It sounds like spin, but sadly he's right. The assmonkeys who negotiated the original stadium deal really screwed the city over. They agreed to all cost overruns, which is now being complained about. They agreed to unsecured rent for the stadium, which is now being complained about. And they agreed to let all stadium-related revenue stay with the team (section 6.05), which is now being complained about. If the parking garage is considered part of the stadium (and I suppose a decent argument could be made that it's not...), then the revenue stays with MLB. Great business, huh? And if the city wanted to retain those revenues, they should have been more stringent in their opposition to them 14 months ago during THOSE negotiations.


  • Who negotiated this sweet deal?
    "Baseball will receive all parking revenue from the 81 games each season, except for tax money that goes to the city. Baseball's negotiators also argued that the stadium agreement signed by baseball officials and Williams last year stipulated that baseball would get parking revenue on non-game days."
    Does that happen anywhere else?!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/06/2005 8:48 AM  

  • Sadly, that's pretty close to standard operating procedure.

    The Ravens, for example, get a large share of all revenue from non-NFL games and concerts held at their stadium despite contributing about as much as MLB will chip in here.

    The Stadium Agreement has the signatures of Tony Williams and Mark Tuohey. They're the ones who 'strong-armed' baseball into that.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 12/06/2005 8:50 AM  

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